Friday, October 3, 2008

Manmohan Singh with Turban, Nicolas Sarkozy with Nuke technology

Hello readers, 

As October 3, 2008 tiptoes in, I am breaking my blog silence to start blogging in the true sense of regular daily real life experiences.

The reason is the treatment meted out to the Sikh cause in France by respected Professor turned Politician Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India while he was visiting that country.

Standing right next to President Nicolas Sarkozy, Indian PM Singh was face to face with me when I asked the French President the question about the "ban on Sikhs wearing turbans."

Sardar Singh did not blink even an eye-lid, leave alone asking the French President in front of world cameras to support my question as the French leader was lambasting Indians about Christian killings in India.

One thing that Sarkozy did not know then is that I am a Christian (although my surname comes from my Sikh paternal lineage) and I, like other secular citizens of the world, understand the meaning of secular.

And then I see Indian newspapers, especially one in Punjab, The Tribune running the report (appended below as it appeared on the newspaper's website) and it made me wonder "was it the same face that showed no emotion," in Marseille and the question, "How did the respected journalist see 'Pain was writ large on the face of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he explained...' as the journalist was not present at the episode where the PM was talking to the President?"

One explanation that comes to mind is related to the Professor becoming a seasoned Politician as I have always believed Politics is made of two words: (made indoors) Policy and (then applied in public with) Tricks.

I will leave it to you readers to comment on what happened in Marseille, France where the question was asked in front of world cameras and what transpired in Paris. France where no journalist was present behind the closed doors.



When PM expressed anguish on turban ban
Ashok Tuteja
On board PM's special aircraft

Pain was writ large on the face of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as he explained to French President Nicolas Sarkozy the anguish of the Sikh community over the ban on wearing turban in schools in France.

''I said to him (Sarkozy) that the turban is an essential part of the Sikh way of life because the Sikhs are not allowed to cut their hair. And this is one way to keep their hair tidy,” he disclosed to reporters who accompanied him on his 10-day trip to the US and France.

Singh met Sarkozy in Paris yesterday. He told the French leader that Sikhs were facing problems in France. ''When Sikh children go to school, they are discouraged from wearing turbans. And when seeking identity cards, they are asked to remove their turbans.”

The Prime Minister recalled that he had raised the turban issue with Sarkozy during the latter's visit to New Delhi in January also. (


Sid said...

Actually, what struck me after reading his comments on the plane is why the Indian PM should be concerned only about Sikh Indians in France. Are there no Muslim Indians there who are having difficulty wearing a hijab to school?

Liz said...

You were right in breaking your blogging silence. I guess to a reader it sounds like one of the writers were not present and just made it up.. Having said that, I was amazed by Indian newspapers, they seemed so dramatic it became quite funny in the end. Which of course isn't good at all.

Though, that is why it is important to have several journos covering issues - as it is too easy to distort the truth.

Btomic said...

I have always enjoyed the way you write about controversial issues without hurting anyone and without authority complex, while standing up for truth and real values. Keep up the good work!

Laju K. said...

Glad you raised the question, Teji. Very interesting how things get twisted around. Everyone should be concerned regarding true lack of diversity. Laju

Laju K. said...

Silence can be dangerous. Good that you raised the question, Teji. Interesting how things can get twisted. Everyone ought to be concerned about real lack of diversity. Thanks for sharing. Laju

Anonymous said...

Mr. Singh does not care about Sikhs. He has shown apathy towards their pain several times; for the fear of being labelled as biased towards his own people.

In the process; something good has happened.

The Sikhs know his reality and don't expect anything from him. They have learnt that he is just another politician and that they are on their own.

DIscrimination, Bias, Harrasement, Exploitation - there is nothing new... They can fight their own battles; victorious or not - they are always in Chardi Kala (High Spirits). If he does not want to help them; it's his loss.

He has lost respect from us.

Thank you for raising the question.

God Bless,

Gurmeet Kaur ATL, GA - USA